In regard to Universal Reconciliation a brother
writes: "When all incorrigibles are cut off in death the
universe will be clean. After that there will be no more
death. The Scripture does not say there shall be no more dead, or
none left dead. I allow that all will be reconciled; now prove
that all will remain in that condition. I also allow that all will
be made alive at the close of the millennium, and will ask you to prove
they will retain it. Or will some then forfeit it by disobedience
as Adam did? They could not die the second death until getting the
second life. After the kingdom is delivered up the plan of
salvation will have ended; no more will be saved after that. There
is nothing revealed after the 'little season.'"
Starting off with an unscriptural expression, the
brother necessarily teaches an unscriptural doctrine. The sacred
word says nothing of "incorrigibles." Israelites who
"reach to Christ," are the ones whom the Father gives Him,
(John 6:37). The giving takes place before they reach to
Him. Read the passage carefully. All who become members of
the ecclesia which is the body of Christ and whose destiny is the
heavens, are chosen in Him before the disruption of a world, (Eph.
1:4). Those who appear before the great white throne, (Un. 20:12),
do so not because they are incorrigible, but because they have not been
previously saved. And the reason why they have not been previously
saved is because God has not given them to Christ, or has not chosen
them in Him before the disruption of a world. There will even be
small ones in that judgment. They who speak of any of them,
as incorrigible, do so without scriptural warrant.
A dead body is not clean. How can the universe
be clean with dead persons in it? The brother does not look upon
death as a state. But it is; and so long as there is a dead person
there is death. Abolishing death does not simply imply the
cessation of dying. It means just what the term says - death will
be abolished. We would not say ugliness has been abolished so long
as there is one ugly person on earth. Who would think black skins
have been abolished when they see colored persons parading the
streets? So long as there is one dead person in the universe death
has not been abolished.
The brother allows that all will be reconciled, and
asks me to prove they will remain in that condition. He allows
that all will be made alive at the close of the millennium, and asks me
to prove that they will retain it. I have never said they will
retain the life to which they were resurrected at the close of the
millennium. Judgment and the second death await. It is long
after the white throne judgment that death is to be abolished, and the
last class of mankind VIVIFIED in Christ, (I Cor. 15:22-28). Not
knowing the scriptures nor the power of God, the brother does not see
the difference between being resurrected to mortal life for the
judgment, and being vivified in Christ at the consummation of the
eons. "Vivify" is from the Greek word "zo-o-poi-eo,"
and never refers to a restoration to mortal life.
The brother does not say when all will be reconciled;
but I gather he thinks it will take place at the resurrection at the
close of the millennium. The very fact that he can speak of
reconciliation and incorrigibles in almost the same breath, shows that
he has no idea of what reconciliation means. He thinks some will
lose the reconciliation. If they can be reconciled and still be
incorrigible, how can they lose the reconciliation, unless it means they
lose their "incorrigibility." The further I go with it
the less I know about it.
But, seriously, how can one become reconciled?
No one would argue such a thing if he knew the purpose of the sin that
brought about the estrangement, and the nature of reconciliation.
Perhaps it will subject me to the charge of blasphemy, to even hint that
sin is in accord with God's purpose. If sin came contrary to His
purpose, then it may do so again and again. God could never be
sure of finally saving anyone. He would be eternally uneasy, least
the saved ones "fall," as Adam did.
Here is the teaching of God's Book: "By His
spirit the heavens are made seemly, travailed has His hand with the
fugitive serpent." If the brother does not like this
rendering, let him read the same passage, (Job 26:13), in the King James
Version: "His hand hath formed the crooked serpent."
"Serpent," - not Lucifer - is the title by which Satan
is known at his first appearance on earth. And God made him!
Another of his titles is "Slanderer," and the word says,
"The Slanderer is sinning from the beginning," (I John
3:8). There was never a time since God formed him that he was not
sinning. This position is not only in accord with the scriptures,
but any other position would make God a Sinner. Sin is a mistake,
and if God created this being, thinking he would be sinless and he
turned out later to be a sinner then God made a mistake - or
sinned. But God knew what he would do when He created him.
To deny that Satan is doing what he was created for, is to accuse God of
making a mistake - sinning! I hope the brother will get this
Lucifer business out of his mind. Isaiah 14 refers, not to a past
"fall" of Satan, but to a future fall of the king of
Adam, knowing neither good nor evil, was in no
position to feed the hungry heart of God with his love and
adoration. He must know the depths of evil in order to know the
heights of good. The tree he was told to not eat was the tree of
the knowledge of good, as well as evil. The necessity of knowing evil,
in order to be in position to appreciate the goodness of God, is the
reason for sin. It came in accord with God's purpose.
When it has served its purpose it will be repudiated,
(Heb. 9:26). This repudiation will be at the conclusion of the
eons. The conclusion, unlike the consummation, is a process, not
an event that takes place in a moment. The conclusion begins with
the eon that will follow the current one. Sin will have served its
purpose, and God will begin to show the universe that its stain will not
remain eternally. He will begin the repudiation, and all through
the eons of the eons, the repudiation will continue. By the time
the consummation occurs, sin will be completely repudiated. At
that time death will be abolished, (I Cor. 15:22-28) and the universe
reconciled to God through the blood of the cross, (Col. 1:20).
Then, when it is seen that sin has served such a grand purpose, (hateful
as it is!), it will be fully justified, and God will be justified in
having provided for its baneful presence, temporarily.
Let the brother remember that justification, and
reconciliation, will flow out of the fact that sin furnished the dark
background for the glory of the sacrifice of Christ and for the display
of the grace of God, and prepared the universe to appreciate God as He
deserves to be appreciated. Having served this purpose, sin will
be repudiated, for God intends to have a universe that is clean.
The reason why none will ever "lose" reconciliation and become
sinners again, is because sin will have served its purpose, and will
have been repudiated. God will never again have a use for
it. This is why it will never come again.
I saw an illustration of this today. The
interior of a building was to be painted - not because it had never been
painted, but because the owner wanted a more beautiful color. The
first job of the painter was to remove the coat that was on it.
The process resulted in the ugliest walls I have ever seen. This
hideous "mess" was not what he wanted, but was a
necessary process, in order to make ready for the new coat. He
will apply the new paint, and thus repudiate the hideous job he has
done. And when the new job is completed, the present
"mess" will have been fully justified.
God is never pleased with sin, even as the painter is
not pleased at the unsightly walls from which the paint has been
taken. But it is a necessary process in each case, to bring about
the desired results. It might be argued that God could have forced
His creation to love Him without all this "bother."
True; but what good is a forced love" Would you value
it? God desires a spontaneous love, such as will result after His
creation has known the depth of sin, and has been reconciled through the
blood of the cross.
The brother is correct in saying that "after the
kingdom is delivered up the plan of salvation will have ended; none will
be saved after that." This will be at the consummation of the
eons, a date much later than we see in the Unveiling (Revelation).
Paul, alone, of all the inspired writers, takes us to the
consummation. John in the Unveiling leaves the job
unfinished. There is still authority and nations still need the
leaves of the tree of life. At the consummation all this shall
THE DELAND MEETING
During the meeting in DeLand, Fla., the evangel was
received with joy by many, and the series resulted in establishing an
ecclesia for permanent worship and scripture study. I have
promised to be with them once a month for a while, on the second